Orioles Sign Matt Antonelli

The Orioles announced that they have signed Matt Antonelli to a Major League contract.  Antonelli was taken 17th overall by the Padres in the 2006 draft and has 65 Major League plate appearances to his name, all in 2008 with San Diego.  The 26-year-old posted an .847 OPS in the Nationals' system last year, playing almost all his games with Triple-A Syracuse.  Antonelli was originally drafted as a second baseman but spent time at second, third, shortstop and left field last year and is expected to compete for playing time on the infield next season.

“We are pleased to bring Matt to the organization,” GM Dan Duquette said in a statement. “He is a versatile major league player who has a good offensive approach and strong defensive skills at both third and second base.”

MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli was the first to report the signing, with Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun noting that Antonelli had signed a Major League deal (both Twitter links).

30 Responses to Orioles Sign Matt Antonelli Leave a Reply

  1. AndyKeatts 4 years ago

    Well that kinda sucks. 

  2. nats2012 4 years ago

    Matt would make a good utility player but not a starting player on a MLB team.

  3. azdsnd 4 years ago

    Dude OBP’d .390 last year.  Unorthodox move, but not completely crazy for a team looking to find a cheap diamond in the rough.  At least they signed a good IL hitter rather than falling prey to some PCL mirage.

  4. Matt Antonelli is expected to compete for Baltimore’s third base job next season.
    What exactly about Antonelli indicates to Oriole Management that he can compete for the Third Base job in 2012. If you go to his Wikipedia Bio all it talks about his hitting or lack thereof. If this is the best that the O’s can do after a week’s worth of GM meetings, the O’s are in trouble! What’s Duquette’s spin on this going to be, he was blocked by Zimmerman? Blocked by Anthony Rendon? Duquette must have some sense of humor if thinks this signing is a good thing!

    • philliesfan136 4 years ago

      There is almost no chance for Antonelli to be a starter at this point, so I wouldn’t worry about that (unless Duquette is stupid). He could be a solid utility guy though and as another poster said, they could just be looking for a diamond in the rough. This is by no means a big signing that you should worry about because Antonelli will likely just be a bench player.

      • I am just jaded Philliesfan. I am not that worried, a bit concerned though.
        The least they could have done was sign some halfway decent player, to give us diehard fans something to hope for in 2012 and then signed Matt.

        • philliesfan136 4 years ago

          I understand how you feel. 

          Maybe they’re gonna add a few minor players then go for better players? Then again Duquette did say in his MLBN interview that he and the rest of the FO plan on building through the draft, so you can’t really expect them to be that big of spenders in FA.

        • Lefty, you realize it’s November 18th, right?

          There’s plenty of time left.  Relax.

        • danistheguy 4 years ago

          He still has to make the club out of spring training.  If he sucks, he’ll be released.  Not that big of a deal, man.  Every club makes depth signings like this.

  5. Bleed_Orange 4 years ago

    This has to be one of the oddest signings ever

    • not_brooks 4 years ago

      A team that refuses to spend money on the free agent market, and has no second or third baseman, signs a player with experience at second and third base on the cheap.

      What’s so odd about that?

      • Cheese and Rice almighty Brooks what about Robert Andino, Brendan Harris, Ryan Adams, Chris Davis, Mark Reynolds and…. I mean for cripes sake, in 2010 we had to put up with Scott Moore and Julio Lugo. The whole Oriole minor league system is littered with players like Matt. I mean it’s not like I don’t want give Antonelli a hardy hello, but this is signing ridiculous.

        • mstrchef13 4 years ago

          Harris can’t hit. Adams can’t field. Neither Davis or Reynolds can play second base. How can you say that the organization is “littered” with players like Antonelli? Name me ten players in the entire freaking system who put up OBPs 100 points higher than their BA for two seasons, let alone their entire career. The team is completely devoid of OBP, which has been one of my biggest gripes of recent memory. In 2010 Josh Bell put up a K/BB rate of 53/2 and in 2009 Robert Andino put up an OPS of .562 in over 200 PA.

          I hope that Duquette makes a dozen more signings like this, adding some OBP to the bench and to Norfolk. Or perhaps you’d rather have Pedro Florimon competing for the utility spot.

          • I hope that Duquette makes a dozen more signings like this…
            Chef, I don’t know what you have cooking in the kitchen, but you might want to open the windows to clear the air. After that, go into your refridgerator and grab all that Orange Kool Aid you stored up and pour all of it down the kitchen sink.
            Now on a serious level, I don’t even know if this cat can field, I know damn well Andino can. I am one of the few staunch Andino supporters. Furthermore, we have enough AAAA guys on the 40 man roster. We really didn’t need another. If Duquette was serious about providing a solid bench, he should have gone after Ramon Santiago or someone similar. All week in Milwaukee and the best he could come up with is Antonelli? That’s just great.

          • cacavolante 4 years ago

            i like the signing. no risk/ decent upside. i dont know why this is making you so upset.

          • Andrew Ochs 4 years ago

            There is a difference between his OBP in minors and what he can do in the majors.

          • mstrchef13 4 years ago

            I believe that, in general, walk rate is one of the few stats that remains consistent as a player makes his way through the levels of baseball. His OBP will go down at the major league level if he doesn’t hit as well, but the differential between AVG and OBP will likely stay the same.

            I’ve read that he was hurt in 2009 and 2010. His callup in 2008 didn’t go well, but he still had a big OBP differential. Besides, as someone on an Orioles blog pointed out, hitting .193 in San Diego is like hitting .250 anywhere else.

        • Rabbitov 4 years ago

          How is andino, harris, adams, davis and reynolds anything like Antonelli?  They are completely different. 

  6. FS54 4 years ago

    The only time I will go to Eutaw St. next season is when Seattle is in town to watch Ichiro.

  7. The_Porcupine 4 years ago

    Really?!?!  Really?!?!

  8. Rabbitov 4 years ago

    Very odd reactions by posters on this thread.  Duquette said he was going to do some moves this week to “fill out the bench.”  He will compete for a bench spot.  The only way I am going to be pissed is if Miclat is chosen in the Rule 5. 

    • Yeah I’m with you.  People are too impatient these days.

    • danistheguy 4 years ago

      Yep, exactly.  It’s as if people reading a nerdy baseball site don’t understand typical depth moves.  Not sure how that’s possible.

  9. Matt Antonelli sucks.

  10. Taylor Haberle 4 years ago

    Congrats to one of professional baseball’s few bloggers. 

  11. danistheguy 4 years ago

    Just a depth move, folks.  Every team does it.  Nothing to see here, thanks.  I’ll take him on the 40-man roster over another infielder that is currently on it like Pedro Florimon.

  12. WolandJR 4 years ago

    Oh, that was to a major league contract?!?! What is the point of giving this guy guaranteed money? I am sure that DD could have waited a month or two and signed him to a minor league deal. Sure, he has some potential, but not enough to warrant guaranteed money. Add that to his non-existent record of success and this move is totally puzzling.

    • BaseballWizard 4 years ago

      Major League contract does not necessarily mean guaranteed money.  If I had to guess, it will be a split contract with a Major and minor league side.  If he doesn’t make the team out of spring training, he can be optioned/outrighted and/or released at almost no cost to the Orioles.  One reason the Orioles may choose a Major League contract to a minor league one is to protect Antonelli from being taken in the Rule 5 draft in a few weeks.

  13. JohnnyHamer 4 years ago

    Why are we not looking at Willingham for LF?

  14. haymaker9 4 years ago

    Some strong responses here to a relatively no-risk, inexpensive signing.  Fringe players making near major league minimum are about as expendable as a waiter making $2.13 an hour.  No big loss to the Orioles if he doesn’t work out, but he could be a pleasant surprise if he does. 

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